“He’s a world traveler now.”
She said it mockingly. The same way that I had said it to my sisters at dinner the night before. Trying to be a pretentious ass. And I loved her more for it. Though I can’t pretend that I wasn’t surprised. Because she surprised me from the night that we first met. And for a moment, I was glad for the friends that gave me shit about her. Though we are only friends.
And for the first time in months, I feel settled. Sleeping on my sister’s couch in an apartment on the second floor. The cat’s name is Zoey and she hates men and swats at my feet. There is an elevator and laundry in the basement and the U Street Metro is a few blocks away. A place I wouldn’t expect to feel settled. A time I wouldn’t expect to feel settled. But yet I do.
Because there is no frenzy. I see my sisters. And friends. And some of my sisters’ friends. And there is a baseball game. And I get some good advice. And a small berating that is well deserved. Again the days slow. But still they go by too fast.
And then I am on a bus.
“Drunk with the only saints I know.”
The title of a Carissa’s Wierd song. And the way that I spent my days in New York. Though they aren’t the only saints I know. Only ones that I miss spending time with. Because I forgot how good it was. The four of us together again. And it’s better now, because there are five. And for a moment, I briefly wonder how it will be when there are six.
Two men enter the subway. One man holds a large empty pot in his hands. The night before it was filled with lobsters. And the wine flowed freely. The man beside him wonders about what the lobsters last thoughts were. How the familiar water had changed. Because it was boiling hot. And how there was nowhere to swim. And no salt. And how this familiar thing would kill them.
But they want him to come to New York. Not the lobsters, but his friends. And it’s a question that he struggles with. He has never had friends that wanted him somewhere so vocally and so strongly. And he could come to New York. In ways that matter, it would probably suit him better than San Diego does. More than San Diego ever will. But those ways scare him. And the familiarity scares him. Because he’s not ready for that yet.
And so more wine. A toast. To five years of friendship. To a new friend. To the end of an incredible year for all of us. To the people that I am ending this year with. Because it has been almost a year. And to the people that I will start the next with. Because the words were meant for more than just the four that were there.
And then another bus and another plane ride.
“It’s like a birthday cake of egg, gravy, and sausage.”
Breakfast time at Tom Sawyer’s. And right away, I understand its draw. Not just the restaurant, but Boca Raton itself. It’s quieter. But there is still something about it. As friends of friends become friends. And they share their own moments of genius.
And I see that I am not the only one to love history. Because he says, “He was you, seven years before you.” And people aren’t that different. Because these are friends that are settling down. They have a house and a dog. And Petey is a girl and sits quietly on her eggs that will never hatch. There is part of me can’t wait until November.
We go to bars and watch basketball playoff games and the sun is shining and we drink beers on the beach. A bachelorette party comes north for the day. And in a place where I just expected to know the people that I came to visit, I find myself surrounded by people that I have met before. And people that I would like to know better.
And then it is over. One last airplane. One last airport. And I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.